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How to Prevent Salmonella Poisoning and Other Food-Borne Illnesses In Pregnancy

Women are particularly susceptible to food-borne infections during pregnancy. Stay safe and avoid potential complications by following these guidelines.


  • Step 1: Limit or avoid certain deli items. Deli meats have been found to contain listeria and undercooked eggs that could contain salmonella may be in macaroni salad. Also, stay away from bean sprouts in the salad bar -- they, too, could contain salmonella.
  • Step 2: Say no to soft cheeses, as they may contain listeria. You'll need to refrain from Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican-style cheeses unless the label clearly states that the product was made with pasteurized milk. Be careful of what you eat during your pregnancy and have a healthy baby.
  • FACT: In 2010, 550 million eggs were recalled because of potential salmonella contamination.
  • Step 3: Drink only pasteurized milk and juices. Unpasteurized milk can contain listeria. If you're not sure, check the label for more information.
  • TIP: Pregnant women can pass food-borne infections to an unborn baby. Complications range from miscarriage and premature delivery to diarrhea and fever upon the baby's birth.
  • TIP: Raw fish and shellfish -- such as sushi, oysters, and clams -- are a frequent source of food-borne infections and should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Step 4: Cook meat to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat will kill any salmonella or e-coli bacteria lurking within the meat.
  • Step 5: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling raw meat. Also, be sure to disinfect cutting boards with a mild bleach solution to prevent the spread of bacteria.

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